Posts Tagged "law as a career"

Loreto Day School, Kolkata – Sensitization

By on Oct 11, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

Loreto Day School, Kolkata – Sensitization

On the 24th of September 2013, a team from the West Bengal Chapter of IDIA conducted a sensitization at Loreto Day School, Sealdah. The team consisted of Ashutosh P Shukla, Shreyashi Ray, Prafful Goyal, Sammanika Rawat, Shailja Agarwal, Divya Thapliyal and me. The school is an English medium girl’s school affiliated to the West Bengal board and there were some 50 odd girls there, mostly from the humanities or commerce streams.   Shreyashi gave them a basic idea about law as a career option which was followed by Shailja giving the girls a first year’s view on law school. They were also made aware of the variety of experiences, and the exposure they would get at a National Law University. They were even told about some of the visitors of the NUJS, renowned individuals such as Usha Uthup and APJ Abdul Kalam, names that most of the girls were familiar with. Ashutosh asked the girls for their opinion about law and lawyers. Some girls with lawyers in their families answered from their experience. Certain myths were debunked and the girls were introduced to idea that not all law students end up as lawyers, the variety of options available to a law student where jobs are concerned were put before them.  He then proceeded to introduce them to IDIA, what its objectives are and how it goes about achieving them. They were also informed about the success story of an IDIA scholar from the school, Sanjana Roy, who cracked CLAT 2012. Then the aptitude test was started, 10 minutes were given to all candidates to fill in their personal details on the first two pages. The duration of the test itself was 50 minutes for attempting 40 questions, one of which was a subjective legal reasoning question, the rest all being objective questions. With the exception of a few minor queries raised by the girls, pin drop silence was maintained, as all of them solved the paper with utmost concentration. As soon as their time ended we collected the papers and almost immediately started correcting them. The highest score out of 46 was 25.5 and on the basis of scores we shortlisted 11 girls for the interview. On closer inspection of their annual income, we had to eliminate 4 students who came from privileged backgrounds.   The interviews started along the conventional lines by asking the interviewee about her parents and siblings and plans for the future etc.  The first two candidates were not very clear about law as a career option and seemed rather confused. It seemed pointless to continue with the interviews before the girls were properly acquainted with law and a mini-orientation of sorts was started for their benefit.  All the shortlisted girls were then called together and given a more detailed description of what law means, how much do law school graduates earn, the difference between the NLU’s and other law colleges etc. They were also told about CLAT, what it is ,what preparing for it entails and how IDIA enters the picture by helping them not only in getting them into a law school but also ensuring that they do not face any additional difficulties once they do. They were informed about the tie-up with LST, the additional coaching, the mentorship program, scholarships and other relevant information. The girls were addressed individually and were asked about their ambitions. They were informed, once again, of the exposure that only an NLU can provide them with. Their questions were answered. They were then told to go back home, take their time, consult their family, elders etc. and...

Read More

OF LAW, KIDS and CHAI – IDIA GOES TO NAGPUR

By on Jul 29, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

OF LAW, KIDS and CHAI – IDIA GOES TO NAGPUR

Expanding it horizons, IDIA conducted a sensitization programme at Nagpur that was carried out by the Hyderabad chapter, being the closest available chapter. The team consisted of  Dipankar Krishna Das, Siddharth Jha and myself. The team was accompanied by Diptasri Basu, Executive Director, IDIA. On ground, we received support from Mr. Ashok Mrig, one of IDIA’s most passionate supporters, who was also our host at Nagpur. We were put up at a comfortable guest house that came with a cook who enquired after every hour if we wanted tea. J His piping hot tea provided a welcome respite after all the travelling and it went well with the rainy weather too! The sensitization was conducted at Yukti Coaching Centre, which is a training centre for engineering and medical exams. Our objective was to introduce the wonders of law as a career to those who are currently contemplating pursuing the traditional career paths chosen by a majority of teenagers in India. So yes, we were met by the initial apprehension that ardent worshippers of IIT-JEE greet non-science options with. Their opinion of lawyers? ‘A black coat wearing person who makes money by lying.’ But with Dipto on our side, ready with all the facts and statistics, proving that law was as good, or even better an option for some was not difficult. The sensitization talk involved explaining how study of law provides empowerment, the wide variety of job opportunities available to law students, law school life, CLAT and what IDIA does. Efforts were made to make the session interactive by connecting law to their favourite films and how elements of law are woven intricately into film plots too, which often go unnoticed by the layman. Since the target audience comprised mostly of science and commerce background students, the IDIA team introduced them to the specialisations that law offers which would be of interest to the science students eg. space law, patent law, biotechnology law etc. Similarly, those that wished to pursue commerce and business studies were introduced to corporate law and mergers and acquisitions at a very basic level so that they understood the variety of options offered after a law degree and the flexibility of being able to choose one close to their heart! During this time the initial apprehension gave way to mild curiosity and then to actual keenness. This was followed by an aptitude test that was taken by 38 students. The top seven scorers were selected. An interview was conducted for these seven students. Although some of them seemed interested in giving law a shot but it seems that the social indoctrination of pursuing nothing but engineering/medical will take more than one sensitization to be dismantled. They were interested in studying for CLAT as a second option and were not ready to give up engineering preperations. Although one girl, not amongst the top seven, approached us and told us that she was keen on pursuing law and sought guidance. So it was decided that IDIA will train her on a trial basis for six months during which she will have to take periodic tests to map her improvement and monitor her progress. In case she shows a significant improvement, she would be inducteded as a scholar. Also, dear IDIA volunteers trust me when I say this, sensitization trips are something that you should not miss when you get a chance! Not only do you get involved with work directly and meet scholars and understand their circumstances which humble you and inspire you, it is also a lot of fun. Once we were done with all the work,...

Read More

IDIA Scholar Sanjana Roy performs well in HNLU: Meenakshi Kurpad shares her story

By on Mar 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The first time I met Sanjana Roy-she was seated in the first row in a large examination hall in the academic Block at NUJS. I was invigilating the IDIA National Aptitude Test (INAT) which is conducted every year. I had just joined the West Bengal chapter of IDIA and wondered who out of the fifty students who wrote the test would be my mentee over the next year. Sanjana did really well in the test and I was assigned to be her mentor. On the day of our first meeting as mentor and mentee, I found her sitting by the pool of justice, gazing at the reflection of the beautiful building(our academic block) on the water. I knew then that this girl was determined and focused about her dreams. In the next few months, I guided her as I was guided as I found her to be, in many ways, like me. At times she would feel anxious, and I would tell her that it would be all fine. I couldn’t help but remember the way my own mother used to calm me down whenever I used to go through these bouts of anxiousness. Even though she was anxious, Sanjana was extremely determined, diligent and hardworking. I encouraged her to ask as many doubts as possible and she did. While making sure her preparation for CLAT was thorough, I also ensured that she did well in her Boards as well. Both examinations were important to her and finding a balance between the two was vital for her to succeed in both. The testing times were the months right before CLAT. I called her up every day from Bangalore, clarifying all her doubts and ensuring that her anxiousness did not win over her confidence. I mailed my old LST worksheets to Arnab (Basu), who promptly delivered them to Sanjana. I wanted her to have all possible materials. She was hard working and never lost focus while preparing. I spoke to her about the importance of strategy, a decisive factor in one’s success, especially in a competitive exam. Together, we formulated a workable strategy that enabled her to score more by focusing on her strong areas first, and then the weaker ones. When I called Sanjana and spoke to her on the night before CLAT, I recollected my own experience before the exam. What was important was not how much I had read or remembered, but how much support and belief people had in me. I wanted Sanjana to have the same, because that is the defining element which distinguishes success from failure. When she called me after the exam, I could tell that she had done well, as her voice contained a tone of exhilaration in it. When the results came out a few weeks later, I did a happy dance all around my room, much to my grandfather’s amusement. Sanjana was happy that she had made it to a good law school, and was scared and excited about embarking on a new journey. Before she was to leave for HNLU, I told her of my own initial experiences at NUJS, from traveling with my mother to Calcutta, experiencing a life away from home and how we are always given an opportunity to succeed in a field that interests us most. I think this helped her in adjusting to a new life in Raipur. She grew accustomed to her new life at Raipur, and began doing well right from the start. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that she has always been diligent and hard-working, never...

Read More

IDIA Sensitization at Somaiya University / educational complex

By on Feb 1, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Somaiya University / educational complex is located in Vidyavihar, Ghatkopar (East), Mumbai. This University has different colleges in varied streams of science, humanities and commerce. For the purpose of IDIA, we have selected the following 3 colleges which comprise of students from Class XI and XII.   1.     S.K. Somaiya Junior College; 2.     K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Arts and Commerce; 3.     K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Commerce and Science.   The first sensitization was conducted in the K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Arts and Commerce. This has already been captured in the blog post of January 19, 2013 by Diptoshree Basu.   On January 28, 2013, we conducted two sets of activities in the other two colleges (1) Short talks with students from S.K. Somaiya Junior College; (2) an aptitude test and sensitization for students from K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Commerce and Science.   1. S.K. Somaiya college:   Here, contrary to schedule, we were unable to hold a power-point presentation for students as the college was unable to arrange for it. So, we took the opportunity to go to individual Class XII classrooms and give a 2 minute talk on legal education and legal profession to the students. A good bunch of interested students who were thinking about law, or were keen to think in that direction approached us and enthusiastically signed up for the aptitude test. Pursuant to confirmation from the college, we will soon follow up on the test.   2. K.J. Somaiya College for Science and Commerce:   Here, the Principal had requested us to first hold the aptitude test and then conduct a presentation. He felt that instead of collecting all students (immaterial of their interest in law) for a presentation, we should try and pick out the interested ones.   So, we followed a strategy of a 2 minute talk + aptitude test + presentation.   2 minute talk: At the outset, we went to individual classes and had an informal and short chat with the students on the possibility of a legal education, its pros in terms of empowerment, learning rights and duties and the world of opportunities before a law graduate. We then explained that we wish to hold an aptitude test for them which will help them gauge where they stand at a national level in a probable law entrance exam. Through this, we try to do two things: get them excited about something new like law; second, try to present the aptitude test as a challenge. A good number of students signed up for the test.   Aptitude test: We conducted aptitude tests for about 70 students from Class XI.   Presentation: We followed the aptitude test with a power point presentation. The presentation covered the importance of legal education for one’s career and life. On the career point we stressed on the wealth of opportunities available to a law graduate especially from one of the NLUs. We focused on national and international opportunities for work, higher studies and the promising financial remuneration after a legal education. We also spoke about the diverse paths of politics, bureaucracy, journalism, business management which a lawyer may take.   We equally emphasized on the role of legal education in changing the way a person thinks –it forces the person to constantly weigh the relevance or irrelevance of an issue in making a decision. It makes a person understand which point actually substantiates an argument and which doesn’t, thus enabling a person to make more convincing arguments and looking at things more objectively. Thus, it shapes the personality of a law graduate to...

Read More

IDIA sensitization at K J Somaiya Junior College of Arts and Commerce, Ghatkopar, Mumbai

By on Jan 19, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The IDIA team consisting of Shreya Parikh, Smriti Bahety, Heena Rohra and Prajna Mohapatra conducted the sensitization programme on law as a career option at the K.J. Somaiya Junior College of Arts and Commerce. Eleventh standard students from both the Arts and the Commerce streams attended the sensitization. The supervising administrative staff expressed the advantages of communicating in vernacular (i.e. Hindi or Marathi) to connect better with the demographic present in the classroom. Therefore, we improvised and used a fair bit of Hindi to optimise its interaction with the audience. There were approximately 100 students who attended the sensitization and about 20 of them showed interest in taking the IDIA aptitude test later this month. We are confident that many more will take the test when it is conducted. We set up a power point projector for the presentation and distributed the IDIA brochures among the students. We specifically discussed the role and importance of NLUs, the high fee structure prevailing in the NLUs, the requirement of law aspirants to undergo coaching to crack a standardized exam like the CLAT, etc. We also discussed the role of IDIA in helping students attain financial assistance/ fee waivers (in case of admission to the top 3 law schools) and training to crack the CLAT. We also presented a short skit enacting a court-room drama to demonstrate that argumentation is fun and law is not just about deciding what is wrong and what is right. We ended the sensitization programme with real life examples of IDIA scholars and invited questions from the audience. The students were shy and reluctant to speak up before the entire class to get their doubts addressed — however, many of them did personally come up to the IDIA team at the end of the presentation to understand more about how IDIA trains its students and the manner in which it handholds...

Read More